The weekend in live music, with Daniel Romano and more

March 13th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Daniel Romano

Daniel Romano

What a weird weekend.

It starts off with a Friday the 13th. That’s today. Yikes.

It continues Saturday (March 14) with Pi Day. Don’t know what Pi Day is? It’s the start of the numerical digits of the non-repeating, non-sequencing mathematic number pi. It’s meant to be celebrated, hopefully with fruit pies and pizza pies.

What about Sunday (March 15)? It’s the Ides of March, and I also suspect you’ll need it as a recovery day from all that pie.

Let’s get to the music recommendations for the weekend, shall we?

Channeling acts such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and George Jones, Canadian artist Daniel Romano steps back in time, all the way back to nudie suits. Romano has crafted three albums in the past five years and tours frequently when he’s not spending time as a custom leather designer. Romano and his backing band, The Trilliums, visit The Lightbulb Club for a show on Saturday night. Local support includes Keyless Gentry and Willi Goehring. Admission is $7. It’s an early show for the venue; music is promised to start at 8 p.m. sharp.

Want to get ready for St. Patrick’s Day on Tuesday?

Just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day season comes a dose of Celtic rock at a show in West Siloam Springs. The Young Dubliners have released several albums in their 20-year career and have opened for a diverse range of artists, including Jethro Tull and Chris Isaak. Although the band members are from southern California, they are more influenced by their namesake city and artists such as Thin Lizzy, The Pogues and The Waterboys. The band performs a show on Sunday evening at Cherokee Casino. Music begins at 6 p.m.

Elsewhere this weekend, video game music master Mega Ran performs with Sammus on Sunday night at the Smoke and Barrel Tavern. Indie rockers Bombay Harambee from Little Rock perform at the same club the night before.

There are plenty of other options this weekend, and the ones we know are listed here on the front page of the blog.

What’s your Pi Day adventure look like?

Soon in tunes: Born Cages, March 12 at Nomad’s Music Lounge

March 11th, 2015 at 10:47 am

Born Cages photo courtesy Nicole Mago

Born Cages photo courtesy Nicole Mago

Up-and-coming rockers Born Cages will bring their tour to an up-and-coming venue in Fayetteville on Thursday (March 12). The band from New York recently won a weekly MTV video competition and one of its songs was included on the “Now 45” compilation, which has since gone gold. A full-length album is expected from the trio this spring. The band will perform at Nomad’s Music Lounge, which opened earlier this year in south Fayetteville in the former Tanglewood Branch Beer Co. location. Admission to the 8:30 p.m. show is $8.

Dan + an Arkansan = Dan + Shay, who perform March 11 at George’s

March 10th, 2015 at 2:49 pm

Dan Smyers (left) and Shay Mooney are Dan + Shay

Dan Smyers (left) and Shay Mooney are Dan + Shay

Dan + Shay‘s tour bus is going to be the only such ride in Natural Dam, Arkansas (population just more than 500) this week.

And Shay Mooney can barely contain his excitement.

Years ago, while he was performing in River Valley churches and country fairs, he dreamed of bringing his own tour to the area. And that dream comes true this week when his group — which also features fellow vocalist and guitarist Dan Smyers — rolls into Arkansas on the “Where It All Began” tour for a Wednesday (March 11) show at George’s Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville.

Mooney moved to Nashville, Tenn. to make his way in the country music business. His stock climbed considerably when he teamed up with Smyers and they started penning songs together. After some success just as songwriters, the duo then started performing, and that’s now recognized, too. Dan + Shay was nominated for a pair of industry awards for best duo of the year, and the members made their Grand Ole Opry debut recently.

Mooney talked to me recently about how his boyhood in Arkansas shaped him and about what promises to be a very busy rest of the year. Read my story in Friday’s What’s Up! section to learn more.

Tickets to Wednesday night’s show are $20, and the show begins at 8 p.m.

AMP announces two shows: Widespread Panic and Third Eye Blind

March 9th, 2015 at 6:37 pm

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“For What It’s Worth,” this is one of the greatest songs written in the last 50 years or so. Widespread Panic give it the cover treatment in the video above. Widespread visits Rogers on July 17, it was announced today.

This Monday contained some very Monday-like elements: gloomy rain, time change drowsiness and a host of other issues.

Unless you like live music, because there were announcements today regarding upcoming shows at the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion.

Officials with the outdoor venue in Rogers announced a pair of shows today: Third Eye Blind and Dashboard Confessional in a co-headlining gig on June 2 and Widespread Panic on July 17.

Third Eye Blind is preparing for the release of their first album in half a decade. They were wildly popular in the late 1990s with songs such as “Semi-Charmed Life” and “Jumper.”

Widespread Panic, now 20+ years into their existence, churn out jam-filled spectacles when they perform live. Expect more than two hours of music from Widespread, who have twice visited the Wakarusa festival in the past four years.

Tickets for the Third Eye Blind/Dashboard Confessional concert go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday (March 13) and start at $30. Tickets for the Widespread Panic show go on sale April 3 and start at $31. Both of those tickets will be sold through the Walton Arts Center’s ticketing office.

Helmet looks back on 20 years; plays Fayetteville on March 7

March 6th, 2015 at 1:13 pm




After 40 dates in Europe, industrial/alternative/metal band Helmet is bring its homage to its breakthrough album stateside. The New York-based band will perform the 1994 album “Betty” in its entirety during the current tour, which includes a stop on Saturday (March 7) at The Lightbulb Club in Fayetteville. The band will then play a set following the performance of the “Betty” sequence. Tickets are $23 and available via

The weekend in live music, with Brother Moses and more

March 6th, 2015 at 5:03 am

Brother Moses

Brother Moses

Welcome to a sunshiny, relatively warm weekend.

I recommend that you get yourself out of the dang house and get over your crippling case of cabin fever with a live music show.

And the list below should provide just the resource you need to find out what’s coming your way.

Here’s a way to get some fresh, local rock:

Touting themselves as a blend of artists such as Modest Mouse, Bombay Bicycle Club and LCD Soundsystem, local trio Brother Moses is set to release its first EP this weekend. The group of local University of Arkansas students will release the EP, called “Thank You for All the Patience” at a show tonight (March 6) at Backspace in Fayetteville. The show starts at 8 p.m., and admission is $5. Jungle Cycle will also perform.

Another show to consider is a double bill of Motel Mirrors and The Souveneers, both of which visit the Smoke & Barrel Tavern on Saturday (March 7). Admission for this pair of roots rock bands is $5. Smoke and Barrel hosts an interesting show tonight, too, with Bones Jugs N Harmony, a deliberate (but funny) take on late ’90s rappers Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.

On Sunday, Harpeth Rising visits the Eureka House Concerts series. That one begins at 6 p.m.

Got a show on your calendar?

Soon in tunes: Wick-It The Instigator, March 5 at George’s

March 4th, 2015 at 12:37 pm

Wick-It The Instigator

Wick-It The Instigator

The music of electronica act Wick-It The Instigator may not be a staple on traditional radio, but his songs have a considerable audience. His works have been played more than 7 million times on his Soundcloud page at The Nashville, Tenn., DJ and producer performs Thursday night (March 5) at George’s Majestic Lounge. Admission is $15, and the show begins at 9 p.m.

On the way: Joe Nichols, April 2 at Riverfront Park in Fort Smith

March 3rd, 2015 at 8:39 am

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Is Joe Nichols coming back to the area? “Yeah,” he is.

Rogers native — and country music star — Joe Nichols likes coming back home, and he’s a frequent guest in the area. He brings his live show to Fort Smith on April 2, it was just announced.

The show is free, part of a multi-year partnership between the city of Fort Smith and Cox Communications. As such, those wanting tickets must visit a Cox store in the Northwest Arkansas area to receive tickets. The tickets become available March 16, and Cox requests two nonperishable food items in exchange for the tickets. Only four tickets can be requested at a time.

Nichols has recorded six No. 1 singles in his decade-long career, including the 2014 chart topper “Yeah.” Local musician Barrett Baber will serve as the opening act.

The concert at Riverfront Park begins at 6:45 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m.

Soon in tunes: Greensky Bluegrass, March 3 at George’s

March 2nd, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Greensky Bluegrass

Greensky Bluegrass

Touring behind a September release, “If Sorrows Swim,” the quintet Greensky Bluegrass will visit Fayetteville for a show on Tuesday (March 3) at George’s Majestic Lounge. The Michigan-based band has performed at several major festivals such as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits and Telluride. The show in Fayetteville begins at 8 p.m. Admission is $15.

Sing loud, punk: The Karaoke Underground comes to Fayetteville

February 27th, 2015 at 12:31 pm

Karaoke UndergroundWEB

As a rule, I don’t write about karaoke on this blog.

There are too many opportunities, and it rarely differs from place to place — you can sing the same 3,000 pop, classic rock and country songs at any of them.

This one, however, is different.

The now decade-old Karaoke Underground comes to The Lightbulb Club on Saturday (Feb. 28), and when it does, it brings along a list of almost 900 punk and indie songs available to sing. There’s also live music as an opening act, courtesy of Dave Norwood of The Gary.

Karaoke Underground has a recurring Saturday night gig at Nomad Bar in Austin, and Karaoke Underground co-founder Kaleb Asplund credits those sessions with boosting the popularity of his company. And, of course, the song list bears some credit too. It includes songs from acts such as Bikini Kill, Pavement, Guided by Voices, The Hold Steady, Bad Religion and hundreds more. Seriously, check the list.

I spoke with Asplund about the idea and that one time he got invited to offer songs at the Matador Records 21st anniversary party. You can read my story online or find it in today’s What’s Up! section, which is available in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Music starts at 10 p.m. Karaoke starts about 10:45 p.m. There’s a $5 cover charge.